Posted 12 months ago on Dec. 10, 2012, 10:17 p.m. EST by arturo
from Shanghai, Shanghai
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
An hour-long floor dialogue took place today at the House of Representatives among four Democratic Congressmen, who raised examples of “big projects” in American history, and how such a vision is needed today. Led by Rep. John Garamendi (Calif.), participants included Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) and New Yorkers Brian Higgins and Paul Tonko. Noteworthy among the many examples they cited are the George Washington/Alexander Hamilton programs for canals, ports, and roads; New York Gov. DeWitt Clinton’s Erie Canal; and President Dwight Eisenhower’s St. Lawrence Seaway project.
Although three of the lawmakers are sponsors of H.R. 1489 to reinstate the Glass-Steagall law, they did not touch on the need for that action as the gateway for a new credit system. Instead, there was back and forth on the idea of borrowing the funds required, at 1% interest. Representative Higgins raised the New America Foundation proposal for, as he said, “a $1.2 trillion investment in rebuilding the roads and bridges of America. That plan . . . would create 27 million jobs. . . .” Representative Garamendi opened by saying that their intention was “to talk about the economy and to talk specifically about jobs, and the things we can do here, in the waning days of the Congress to create some job opportunities.” He dismissed the idea of sticking to the talking points of the “fiscal cliff,” or the “austerity bomb,” or the “debt limit.”
Sacramento River Management (Calif.). Garamendi called this “the second most risky region in the nation for flooding and flood damage.” He said: “Should a levee break in that region—and those levees are not up to 200-year standards—people would have less than 20 minutes to find high ground, to get out. It’s an impossible situation. So we need serious infrastructure improvement— and that’s Sacramento. The rest of my new district goes further north into Marysville and Yuba City, along the Sacramento River further north, and along the Feather and Yuba rivers—again, communities at high risk. Serious infrastructure needs to be developed. Levees need to be improved, upgraded, enhanced; otherwise, citizens are at risk, just as they were on Staten Island.
“This is our responsibility. This is not only a local responsibility and a state responsibility—this is a national responsibility. This is when we become a national community, looking out for each other, in providing the basic infrastructure to protect us. We also have infrastructure that is necessary for commerce: our roads, our highways, our Internet systems, our rail transportation systems. All of these infrastructure items are critical to the economic well-being of America in addition to the human and commerce safety of this Nation.”
And you say to yourself, today, with some of the limited thinking that some exhibit—of course, no one in this Chamber would ever be accused of that!. . . But could we do the St. Lawrence Seaway again?. . . ”And believe me, the people that sent me here identify with the cause of jobs and economic growth and infrastructure investment in our country, to push us far beyond where perhaps Roosevelt and Eisenhower and Kennedy dreamed.”